GdS: Giroud and Mandanda square off again – the remarkable precedent from 2007

By Oliver Fisher -

Given that AC Milan have such a strong French influence and they face a side from that country, tonight’s game against Rennes has some rather interesting narratives.

This morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport takes a look at Mike Maignan, Theo Hernandez and Olivier Giroud, the three Frenchmen against a French team.

The fourth, Yacine Adli, will likely play in the second half. The fifth, Pierre Kalulu, worked alone on the field yesterday and seemed to have a lot more muscles in the upper part of his body.

In addition to those three, there is Matteo Gabbia who beat Rennes twice in the Villarreal shirt during the Europa League group stages, so he knows what it takes to win.

There is actually a rather interesting footnote about Giroud and Rennes’ goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, who the striker scored his first professional goal against.

The year was 2007 and Milan were about to win the Champions League, their most recent triumph in that competition. Seventeen years later, with Mandanda in goal, Giroud will play the 700th game of his club career.

Put together, that’s 63,000 minutes, more or less 43 consecutive days spent playing football. He has the right to be a little tired, yet he doesn’t seem to be.


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